Your Risk for Hypertension
Did you know that many people don’t know they have high blood pressure? The symptoms of high blood pressure, or hypertension, can be subtle or not present at all.
In 2017, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association revised their definition of high blood pressure to suggest that someone with a blood pressure reading of 130/80 or above (changed from 140/90) should seek intervention. If your blood pressure is above 130/80, you may be able to treat it with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, instead of medication. Your primary care physician can make the best recommendation.
The most common risk factors for hypertension include:
- family history
- gender (men are more susceptible before age 65; women are more susceptible at 65 and older)
- African-American race
- lifestyle factors, including little exercise, poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol use, and being overweight.
Take some time once each year to review your risks for hypertension. At minimum, have an annual blood pressure check by a physician, or a biometric screening at your workplace, to know where your numbers stand and if you need to take action.